Some news as we start the final week of the regular season:
-As expected, Joe Blandisi, Blake Coleman, Ben Thomson, and Miles Wood are all on their way north now that New Jersey has finished the season.
-With four forwards back in the fold, Greg Wolfe was released from his professional tryout and will rejoin Adirondack as the Thunder begin their playoff run this week.
-Now for the latest in the North Division playoff sweepstakes:
St. John’s shut out Utica 1-0 on Sunday afternoon, giving them a .014 lead over the Comets for the fourth and final playoff spot. Albany and the IceCaps are tied with a .541 points percentage, but the Devils sit in third due to the first tiebreaker, regulation/overtime wins (34-32). Here is the remaining schedule for the North contenders:
Toronto and St. John’s will face each other in a two game set on Friday and Saturday. The Marlies magic number to clinch the division title is 4, with Syracuse sitting three points behind. The IceCaps’ magic number to clinch their spot is 4.
Utica has three games left, hosting the Crunch on Wednesday, hosting Hartford on Friday, then traveling to Syracuse on Saturday. A two game slide that has seen them get shutout in back to back games may cost the Comets in the end, as their magic number sits at 8, and an elimination number of 4 (if I did the math right). So in other words: they need help. And a lot of it.
The Devils have the easiest schedule remaining of the bottom three contenders: home against Hartford Wednesday, followed by a home and home with Rochester to close the week out. Unless the Crunch lose out, Albany cannot finish higher than third place.
So buckle up, boys and girls. This is going to be a wild sprint to the finish line.